Questions involving complex numbers: numbers of the form $a+bi$ where $i^2=-1$.

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20
votes
6answers
2k views

$-1$ is not $ 1$, so where is the mistake?

I know there must be something unmathematical in the following but I don't know where it is: \begin{align} \sqrt{-1} &= i \\ \\ \frac1{\sqrt{-1}} &= \frac1i \\ \\ \frac{\sqrt1}{\sqrt{-1}} ...
24
votes
10answers
2k views

$i^2$ why is it $-1$ when you can show it is $1$?

We know $$i^2=-1 $$then why does this happen? $$ i^2 = \sqrt{-1}\times\sqrt{-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{-1\times-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{1} $$ $$ = 1 $$ EDIT: I see this has been dealt with before but at least with ...
249
votes
34answers
24k views

Do complex numbers really exist?

Complex numbers involve the square root of negative one, and most non-mathematicians find it hard to accept that such a number is meaningful. In contrast, they feel that real numbers have an obvious ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Do odd imaginary numbers exist?

Is the concept of an odd imaginary number defined/well-defined/used in mathematics? I searched around but couldn't find anything. Thanks!
31
votes
10answers
11k views

How to prove Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$?

Could you provide a proof of Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$ ? thanks.
24
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the value of $1^i$?

What is the value of $1^i$? $\,$
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Proving $\sum\limits_{k=0}^{n}\cos(kx)=\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sin(\frac{2n+1}{2}x)}{2\sin(x/2)}$

I am being asked to prove that $$\sum\limits_{k=0}^{n}\cos(kx)=\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sin(\frac{2n+1}{2}x)}{2\sin(x/2)}$$ I have some progress made, but I am stuck and could use some help. What I did: ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Prove that $\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = \frac{n}{2^{n-1}}$

Using n_th root of unity $$\Large\left(e^{\frac{2ki\pi}{n}}\right)^{n} = 1$$ Prove that $$\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = \frac{n}{2^{n-1}}$$
17
votes
5answers
23k views

How do I get the square root of a complex number?

If I'm given a complex number (say $9 + 4i$), how do I calculate its square root?
19
votes
8answers
19k views

what is the square root of i?

If i is the square root of -1, is the square root of i imaginary? Is it used or considered often in mathematics? How is it notated?
8
votes
6answers
9k views

“Where” exactly are complex numbers used “in the real world”?

I've always enjoyed solving problems in the complex world during my undergrad. However, I've always wondered where are they used and for what? In my domain (computer science) I've rarely seen it be ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the thing with $\sqrt{-1} = i$

What's the thing with $\sqrt{-1} = i$? Do they really teach this in the US? It makes very little sense, because $-i$ is also a square root of $-1$, and the choice of which root to label as $i$ is ...
14
votes
4answers
522 views

Relation of this antisymmetric matrix $r = \left(\begin{smallmatrix}0 &1\\-1&0\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ to $i$

I was reviewing some matrices and found this interesting if $r = \begin{pmatrix} 0&1\\ -1&0 \end{pmatrix}$ then $rr=-I$, also $$\exp{(\theta r)} = \cos\theta I + \sin\theta r$$ No wonder, the ...
8
votes
3answers
615 views

How to raise a complex number to the power of another complex number?

How do I calculate the outcome of taking one complex number to the power of another, ie $\displaystyle {(a + bi)}^{(c + di)}$?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Simple Complex Number Problem: 1 = -1 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: -1 is not 1, so where is the mistake? I'm trying to understand the exact point of failure in the following reasoning: $1 = \sqrt{1} = \sqrt{(-1)(-1)} = ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

For what values $\alpha$ for complex z $\ln(z^{\alpha}) = \alpha \ln(z)$?

For example, when $\alpha = 2$, $\ln(z^{2}) \neq 2\ln(z)$, because argument z is determined up to constant $2 \pi k$. So $$ \ln(z^{2}) = \ln(z) + \ln(z) = \ln(z_{k_{1}}) + \ln(z_{k_{2}}) \neq ...
34
votes
19answers
3k views

Interesting results easily achieved using complex numbers

I was just looking at a calculus textbook preparing my class for next week on complex numbers. I found it interesting to see as an exercise a way to calculate the usual freshman calculus integrals ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

Prove that $i^i$ is a real number

According to WolframAlpha, $i^i=e^{-\pi/2}$ but I don't know how I can prove it.
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Understanding imaginary exponents

Greetings! I am trying to understand what it means to have an imaginary number in an exponent. What does $x^{i}$ where $x$ is real mean? I've read a few pages on this issue, and they all seem to ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Non-integer powers of negative numbers

Roots behave strangely over complex numbers. Given this, how do non-integer powers behave over negative numbers? More specifically: Can we define fractional powers such as (-2)^-1.5? Can we define ...
1
vote
2answers
307 views

Division of Complex Numbers

Ahlfors says that once the existence of the quotient $\frac{a}{b}$ has been proven, its value can be found by calculating $\frac{a}{b} \cdot \frac{\bar b}{\bar b}$. Why doesn't this manipulation show ...
4
votes
5answers
736 views

How to combine complex powers?

Regarding this thread, it is not possible to combine complex powers in the usual way: $$ (x^y)^z = x^{yz} $$ There was mention of multi-valued functions, is there some theory that makes this all ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Do the real numbers and the complex numbers have the same cardinality?

So it's easy to show that the rationals and the integers have the same size, using everyone's favorite spiral-around-the-grid. Can the approach be extended to say that the set of complex numbers has ...
10
votes
4answers
516 views

Which step in this process allows me to erroneously conclude that $i = 1$

I was playing around with imaginary numbers and exponents and came up with this: $$ i = \sqrt{-1} $$ $$ \sqrt{-1} = (-1)^{1/2} $$ $$ (-1)^{1/2} = (-1)^{2/4} $$ $$ (-1)^{2/4} = ((-1)^{2})^{1/4} ...
4
votes
2answers
247 views

Prove if $|z| < 1$ and $ |w| < 1$, then $|1-zw^*| \neq 0$ and $| {{z-w} \over {1-zw^*}}| < 1$

Prove if $|z| < 1$ and $ |w| < 1$, then $|1-zw^*| \neq 0$ and $| {{z-w} \over {1-zw^*}}| < 1$Given that $|1-zw^*|^2 - |z-w|^2 = (1-|z|^2)(1-|w|^2)$I think the first part can be proven by ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Simple applications of complex numbers

I've been helping a high school student with his complex number homework (algebra, de Moivre's formula, etc.), and we came across the question of the "usefulness" of "imaginary" numbers - If there ...
32
votes
10answers
1k views

What's the difference between $\mathbb{R}^2$ and the complex plane?

I haven't taken any complex analysis course yet, but now I have this question that relates to it. Let's have a look at a very simple example. Suppose $x,y$ and $z$ are the Cartesian coordinates and ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views
0
votes
5answers
356 views

Simple doubt about complex numbers

The question itself is simple, but I'm weak in math, and I'm training a lot every day to be the best I can, so, working on complex numbers, I got stuck on a simple multiplication: $\sqrt{3i} * 2i$ ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How to compute $\sqrt{i + 1}$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I get the square root of a complex number? I'm currently playing with complex numbers and I realized that I don't understand how to compute $\sqrt{i + 1}$. My ...
9
votes
8answers
837 views

For complex $z$, $|z| = 1 \implies \text{Re}\left(\frac{1-z}{1+z}\right) = 0$

If $|z|=1$, show that: $$\mathrm{Re}\left(\frac{1 - z}{1 + z}\right) = 0$$ I reasoned that for $z = x + iy$, $\sqrt{x^2 + y^2} = 1\implies x^2 + y ^2 = 1$ and figured the real part would be: ...
5
votes
3answers
770 views

Complex conjugate of $z$ without knowing $z=x+i y$

Is it possible to determine (and if so, how) the complex conjugate $\bar{z}$ of $z$, if you don't already know that $z = x + i y$? I think you can use $\log(z)$ to get the angle, and therefore the ...
0
votes
3answers
130 views

Compute the Integral

Compute the integral. $$\int_{-\infty}^\infty \frac{x^4}{1+x^8} \, dx$$ The answer at the back of the book is $$\frac{\pi}{4\sin(\frac{3\pi}{8})}$$
4
votes
2answers
247 views

General question on relation between infinite series and complex numbers

This is a strictly preliminary question. I hope to elicit some discussion/s which will lead to a more acceptable form for the question on this site. I'm trying to understand how the study of the ...
44
votes
12answers
3k views

How can I introduce complex numbers to precalculus students?

I teach a precalculus course almost every semester, and over these semesters I've found various things that work quite well. For example, when talking about polynomials and rational functions, in ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

De Moivre's Theorem. Motivation and origins.

I've purchased "A Source Book in Mathematics" some time ago and I'm still baffled by De Moivre's paper on his formula. We all know the famous $$\{\cos(x) + i \sin(x)\}^n = \cos(nx)+i \sin(nx)$$ but ...
23
votes
1answer
787 views

What is wrong with this fake proof $e^i = 1$?

$$e^{i} = e^{i2\pi/2\pi} = (e^{2\pi i})^{1/(2\pi)} = 1^{1/(2\pi )} = 1$$ Obviously, one of my algebraic manipulations is not valid.
16
votes
9answers
2k views

Why is the complex number $z=a+bi$ equivalent to the matrix form $\left(\begin{smallmatrix}a &-b\\b&a\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Relation of this antisymmetric matrix $r = \left(\begin{smallmatrix}0 &amp;1\\-1&amp;0\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ to $i$ On Wikipedia, it says that: Matrix ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views
13
votes
2answers
567 views

Inequality with Complex Numbers

Consider the following problem: Prove that for every set of complex numbers $\{z_i\}$, with $i$ ranging from one to $n$, there is a subset $J$ such that $$\left|\sum_{j\in J} z_j\right|\ge ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Does anyone know any resources for Quaternions for truly understanding them?

I've been studying Quaternions for a week, on my own. I've learned various facts about them but I still don't understand them. My goal is to understand rotation quaternions specifically. I don't want ...
12
votes
5answers
823 views

What's bad about calling $i$ “the square root of -1”?

I vaguely recall a teacher telling me that he dislikes introducing the imaginary unit $i$ as "the square root of $-1$", but I can't remember why. Is there a lack of rigour in the statement, or is it a ...
11
votes
2answers
598 views

Wild automorphisms of the complex numbers

I read about so called "wild" automorphisms of the field of complex numbers (i.e. not the identity nor the complex conjugation). I suppose they must be rather weird and I wonder whether someone could ...
9
votes
2answers
475 views

Suppose $a \in \mathbb{R}$, and $\exists n \in \mathbb{N}$, that $a^n \in \mathbb{Q}$, and $(a + 1)^n \in \mathbb{Q}$

1) Suppose $a \in \mathbb{R}$, and $\exists n \in \mathbb{N}$, that $a^n \in \mathbb{Q}$, and $(a + 1)^n \in \mathbb{Q}$. Prove: Is it true that $a \in \mathbb{Q}$? 2) Suppose $a \in \mathbb{C}$, ...
6
votes
2answers
441 views

is a one-by-one-matrix just a number (scalar)?

I was wondering. Clearly, we cannot multiply a (1x1)-matrix with a (4x3)-matrix; However, we can multiply a scalar with a matrix. This suggests a difference. On the other hand, I was, for example, in ...
4
votes
3answers
802 views

Comparing real and complex numbers

If I'm correct, a complex number can be interpreted as a set in the following manner: $$ \forall x, y \in \mathbb{R}, x + yi = \{(x,\ y)\}.\ \mathbf{(1)} $$ My question is, is it technically ...
4
votes
3answers
524 views

How can you find the complex roots of i?

A variation of the Root of Unity problem. I want to find all possible answers to this: $$z^n = i$$ Where $$i^2 = -1$$
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Complex Exponents

What does it mean to raise a number to a complex exponent, and why? A lot of the explanations that I've seen involve e, why is this? I'm looking for an intuitive answer describing to how ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Prove the following equation of complex power series.

Show that for $|z| \lt 1$ with $z \in \Bbb C$, we have $$ \sum_0^\infty \frac{{z^2}^k}{1-{z^2}^{k+1}} = \frac{z}{1-z} $$ $$ \sum_0^\infty \frac{2^k{z^2}^k}{1+{z^2}^{k}} = \frac{z}{1-z} $$ My guess ...
4
votes
2answers
659 views

Principal $n$th root of a complex number

This is really two questions. Is there a definition of the principal $n$th root of a complex number? I can't find it anywhere. Presumably, the usual definition is $[r\exp(i\theta)]^{1/n} = ...